September 23, 2011. (Romereports.com) The pope arrived to the shrine of Our Lady of Etzelsback by helicopter, where thousands of fellow Germans anxiously waited for him. The shrine, which is located in East Germany, actually stayed active during the Nazi regime as well as the communist dictatorship.
In that very historic site, the pope prayed along with roughly 90,000 people. During the homily, the pope talked about the Virgin and her divine love. Unlike his recent speeches in Germany, this one was more of a spiritual reflection.
The pope talked about culture, and how if often pushes people to follow a path that only focuses on personal fulfillment. But this search can quickly turn into “refined selfishness,” said the pope. To overcome this, he recommended helping others and also asking the Virgin for guidance.
“With a mother's tenderness she wants to make us understand that our whole life should be a response to the love of our God, who is so rich in mercy. 'Understand,' she seems to say to us that God, who is the source of all that is good and who never desires anything other than your true happiness, has the right to demand of you a life that yields unreservedly and joyfully to his will, striving at the same time, that others may do likewise.”
Before leaving the shrine, the Pope prayed before the image of the Virgin. As a gift, he left a rosary, that will be kept in the small sanctuary.
On Saturday, the pope will celebrate Mass in Erfurt and then move to Freiburg, where on Sunday he will finish the visit to his native Germany.